Environment Blog

  • The Van Jones backstory. So Van Jones now takes his place as the Lani Guinier of the Obama administration, undone by his radical views. Like Guinier, the ousted “green jobs” czar will doubtless employ his political martyrdom to transform ...

  • Jerry Brown was tagged with the nickname “Gov. Moonbeam” while in office during the 1970s and 1980s. It was a fitting handle, because he was an unorthodox politician who represented the state’s increasingly curious behavior. Now in his second life as...

  • Thanks to Trump’s corporate tax cut, companies have become, well, more enterprising. Where a 31 percent federal tax rate ruled out many new ventures, a 21 percent tax rate makes them far more viable.  So, it’s no surprise that state officials have be...

  • Today is one of the biggest events of the year at the State Capitol – the Governor’s State of the State Address. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor, it was literally a circus.  the entire lawn of the Capitol was literally filled with dozens of s...

  • San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) today released the 2008 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual report highlighting the significant environmental developments and milestone...

  • San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) today released the 2009 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual report highlighting the significant environmental developments and milestone...

  • With the advent of 2010 California stands only a decade away from 2020 when, according to plan, the state should be producing a full 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. That unrealistic goal will be tough to achieve by any standard ...

  • San Francisco—Improvements seen across key environmental indicators should be cause for celebration this Earth Day, according to Steven F. Hayward, Ph.D., author of the new book Almanac of Environmental Trends, released by the Pacific Research Instit...

  • The reduction in air pollution continues to be the most successful domain of pollution reduction since the first Earth Day in 1970. Since the first edition of this Almanac two years ago, reductions in air pollution have been astonishing. The EPA rece...

  • Former Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy said it best.  When speaking about his time in the Legislature, he said, “I’m not a lawmaker.  I’m a Republican!” When I worked in the Legislature, I used to always joke that my fellow Republican staff and I had one...

  • California voters rejected Proposition 23 and thereby missed their chance to delay implementation of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. That measure is certain to worsen a state economy still in recession, with an unemployment ...

  • The 50 State Index of Energy Regulation measures the regulatory climate for energy consumption, production, and distribution and which states are more economically efficient. Alabama, Alaska, South Dakota, and Texas tied for the best (#1), while Cali...

  • As I posted at the Pacific Research Institute website, the California State Lands Commission (SLC) has rejected a proposal that would have led to the first new oil drilling project off the California coast in 40 years. On January 29, the panel voted ...

  • The health care debate continues to heat up this week. A big vote in Congress on the Graham-Cassidy health care reform legislation is expected before Saturday, September 30. This is the deadline to pass repeal and replace legislation with just 50 vot...

  • Despite intense, sometimes contentious negotiations — most recently at a meeting of world leaders in Denmark — the likelihood of a binding deal on global carbon emissions appears remote. Virtually all nations agree about the potential severity of cli...

  • Supply Side Economics works. This isn’t a political statement, nor should it be a particularly controversial one either, unless you believe I am referring to the mythical “trickle down” straw man conjured up by some in the political establishment. By...

  • Gov. Jerry Brown told us in his recent State of the State address that, of course, nearly all is well in California on his watch. The real state of this state is not so sweet, though. Beneath the sheen applied by the governor, there is......

  • Some readers recoiled at my depiction last year of Gov. Bill Ritter’s Climate Action Plan as a “faith-based document” that barely hints at the “grueling acrobatics” needed to reach its goals of a 20 percent reduction in ...

  • Northern California is a hotbed of modern, global technological innovation, particularly internet innovation. Yet, increasingly Washington, D.C. dictates the direction and velocity of innovation, often abetted by the very companies that gained from t...

  • In his inaugural address, new President Barack Obama said he intended to “restore science to its rightful place” in government. Several days later, Obama again claimed a change in approach, saying, “Rigid ideology has overruled sound science. Special...

  • Everyone who drives in California suspects that fuel prices here are painfully high. And their suspicions are well-founded. Only Hawaii has more expensive gasoline. Or did. Thanks to the 12-cents-a-gallon tax hike on gasoline that went into effect on...

  • National media attention recently returned to UC Berkeley over the planned “Free Speech Week.” Following dueling press releases over whether the event would occur and who would speak, the event largely fizzled out.  Ben Shaprio did speak on campus a ...

  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will make official on Tuesday what we knew all along – the Administration is officially withdrawing the controversial Clean Power Plan rule on power plant emissions. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has railed...

  • It’s a sad indictment of California’s political class, but often the Legislature’s top achievements are the things it didn’t get around to doing. Up until the final days of the legislation session, this year’s chief accomplishment looked like it woul...

  • When I was a junior speechwriter working in Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration, one of the great pleasures I had was working with and getting to know David Crane.  David was the Governor’s advisor on economic issues and his office was right nex...

  • It seems clear that the first major penalty man will have to pay for his rapid consumption of the earth’s nonrenewable resources will be that of having to live in a world where his thoughts and actions are ever more strongly limited, where social org...

  • Grade 13. That’s what Californians will be funding if Governor Brown signs Assembly Bill 19, which provides a year of free tuition to anyone enrolling in a California community college, regardless of the student’s income. The bill isn’t intended to h...

  • California is in the midst of economic turmoil. Headlines shout daily about the plummeting dollar and home values, disappearing jobs, soaring fuel and food costs, and a growing massive state budget deficit. Apparently oblivious to the strain on Calif...

  • During the recent election, the spin on Proposition 23 became drearily familiar. Voters who favored it were backing “greedy oil companies,” as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put it, out to protect their own financial interests. Those who oppo...

  • A recent Fox & Hounds Daily opinion piece by David Crane, economic advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger attempted to dismiss the contribution of AB 32 to the state’s high unemployment rate. AB 32 is California’s “Global Warming Solutions Act,” a b...

  • John Stossel, ABC News’ co-anchor of “20/20” and a New York Times best-selling author, likes to take a skeptical look at a wide array of issues, but hold the phone on his new healthcare special — it was pulled to make room for yet more......

  • On November 2, Californians will have an unprecedented opportunity to vote on a ballot measure that will protect jobs and their quality of life. Proposition 23 would suspend implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, until the...

  • SAN FRANCISCO — Is your food making the planet sick? Are your pork chops, your corn chips, your steaks, your breakfast cereal polluting the air, water and land that everyone on Earth depends on to sustain life? The answer, says a Pacific Research Ins...

  • Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a debate of the Democrat and Republican candidates for California Attorney General, which was sponsored by the Sacramento Press Club. The Republican and Democratic candidates could not present a starker cont...

  • Recently, thousands of farm workers and their supporters hit the road in California’s Central Valley to raise awareness of water shortages in the region that are threatening the livelihoods and communities that rely heavily on irrigated crops. The fa...

  • This is not the time to implement policies that will further cripple California’s economy and put a disproportionate financial burden on the state’s poor and elderly, but that is exactly what the California Air Resources Board is planning...

  • The California Air Resources Board has proposed a new mandate to require car companies to install metallic reflective windows, which CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols describes as “a common-sense and cost-effective measure that will help cool the ca...

  • I recently read about a case in Berkeley where a hot dog vendor just trying to earn a few dollars was manhandled by city government. Rigoberto “Beto” Matias was selling bacon-wrapped hotdogs outside a Cal football game. A police officer approached Be...

  • Californians harboring dystopian fears would have us believe that the state is sowing the seeds of its own destruction by leading in the development of artificial intelligence. Consider state legislation introduced this year that would fine companies...

  • If you think this is going to be one of those hard-hitting policy pieces that you get from the likes of Anaya and Jackson, or one of those brainy blogs from Winegarden.  It’s not.  It’s all about me, and my yearning for that fabulous, subsidized......

  • San Francisco Examiner, June 9, 2009 We hear it every day. News headlines read: “Global Warming Biggest Threat of 21st Century, Experts say.” (businessweek.com. May 13th, 2009. Gardner, Amanda). News anchors provide us with a choice, either we believ...

  • It’s one thing to be considered a Judicial Hellhole. It’s another thing altogether to hold that distinction year after year . . . after year. But, just as it is with so many state rankings, California isn’t a newcomer at the wrong end of a......

  • The clock is ticking for trucking companies in the U.S. to comply with a federal mandate requiring drivers to stop logging their hours on the road with paper logs and switch to electronic logging devices (ELD) – and not everyone is happy about the ch...

  • The government is not doing a very effective job of playing car salesman. Despite providing federal manufacturing grants and loans worth $40.7 billion and other $2 billion in federal tax credits to subsidize electric car purchases, electric cars, or ...

  • The United States government recently announced plans to look into allegations of anti-competitive behavior among agribusiness companies, particularly Monsanto, the ag biotechnology giant. As this action unfolds, policy makers should keep some realit...

  • The prospects sound good but the conference got only half the story. Estimates of just how many jobs our push to go green may generate vary widely, but not all economists believe that there really will be any kind of green-job boom. More important is...

  • California policymakers have been on overdrive in recent years pursuing a clean energy future for the Golden State. State policymakers have enacted scores of government mandates and programs to push employers and individuals to reduce emissions, incl...

  • Gov. Jerry Brown and some California lawmakers are pushing Golden State drivers to the fast lane of an all-electric car future. For example, San Francisco Democrat Phil Ting has introduced legislation to outlaw the sale of traditional gas-powered car...

  • PRI’s coverage of California’s poverty problem through various op-eds and a policy brief have drawn considerable attention. Most of it has been positive, but one California writer for the hard-left Mother Jones claimed that despite the point we made,...

  • A dashcam video of downtown Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2017 revealed the devastating reality of the city’s homelessness problem. The video, shot in the city’s Skid Row district, shows dozens of tents, makeshift shelters, and people walking aimlessl...

  • Energy poverty is on the rise across Arizona today. If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy poverty. It is a tragedy that forces some families to...

  • The great investor Warren Buffett once said, “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”  UC President Janet Napolitan...

  • Earth Day is fast approaching, yet despite the awareness this day brings, most people are powering their computers with electricity from coal-burning power plants, delivered by “dumb” networks. Change is long overdue, and it’s not a...

  • During my recent vacation in Australia and New Zealand, my friends and I spent an enjoyable day in Melbourne while on a Tasmanian cruise. Whenever I visit a big city for the first time on a trip, I always book a survey tour to take......

  • Asia Sentinel (Hong Kong), 19 February 2008 The US decision to divert food crops for motor-fuel is proving a costly mistake – especially for Asia. What has long been predicted – that the US decision to push the use of corn to make biofuel would......

  • Just six years after declaring bankruptcy due to a 15-year spending binge, Stockton is now exploring creative new ways of spending again.  This time, it’s a one-year experiment to give several dozen Stockton families $500 a month, with no strings att...

  • In 2006, at the end of his movie An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore offered a number of things that the average person could do to decrease their impact on global climate change. They could ride a bike or take mass transit, the former vice-president advi...

  • Before any policy is changed, the potential economic consequences that they can cause should be considered. The Community Reinvestment Act and other affordable housing regulations, for instance, were supposed to increase loan availability to under-se...

  • There is little doubt that the U.S. needs comprehensive tax reform. The corporate income tax system is globally uncompetitive; the personal income tax system is so complicated that even the IRS can’t answer taxpayers’ questions. The right reform impl...

  • What are the legitimate functions of good government? James Madison said they are “to protect property of every sort.” “The rights of persons and the rights of property are the objects for the protection of which government was instituted,” he said i...

  • In October, San Francisco’s newest garbage management law goes into effect, potentially fining residents up to $100 per violation – businesses up to $500 – for failing to separate compostable garbage from their trash. Fines can also be incurred if ga...

  • The California Energy Commission recently considered a proposal to take control of home thermostats, a move that drew national attention and public protests. The CEC has now backed off,-but the story remains instructive for California consumers and p...

  • Watch our new animated video to learn how breaking down barriers in state insurance adjuster licensing could speed up response times for disaster claims and everyday claims, lower costs, and provide job opportunities. It’s based off of Wayne Wi...

  • On July 29, California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown said he will sue to block a proposed water-bottling operation in Northern California, unless its effects on global warming are evaluated. Nestlé Waters North America wants to pump 200 million gall...

  • We are often critical of the way Gov. Jerry Brown governs and the ideas that he proposes. He too often leans on the progressive playbook. But we’ve not been afraid to say that he’s right when he’s right, and today he’s right. The governor is......

  • Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2018-19 budget proposal is projecting a $6.1 billion surplus by July 1, 2019, further evidence that the taxpayers of California have been overcharged. But there will be no rebates. Brown said at his press conference Wednesday that,...

  • One such environmental policy under question is the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) which was signed into law in 2006. The law attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a cap and trade program. The Global Warming Solutions Act is the la...

  • Two new regulations suggest that California leads the nation in mandates that inconvenience its residents while gaining little for the environment. First, consider the California Energy Commission’s unanimous vote Wednesday to effectively ban m...

  • One of my all-time favorite shows is “The McLaughlin Group.” I used to love watching Dr. McLaughlin spar over the years with the likes of Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, Clarence Page, Freddy “the Beadle” Barnes, Mor-ton Kondracke, the late great Jack G...

  • I have spent my entire 35 year professional life developing and implementing energy policies vital to our state. So it pains me to now see California taking an unfortunate misstep: embracing participation in the Western Climate Initiative. WCI, devel...

  • The California State Assembly is refusing to provide the names of assemblymen who voted to ban oil recovery off the coast of Santa Barbara. Twenty-eight members supported the ban, but their votes cannot be found in the official state database. Assemb...

  • The California Air Resources Board has set a powerful regulatory force in motion by approving an outline for meeting the carbon dioxide reductions required by a state law aimed at combating global warming. The outline, known as a “scoping plan,” is r...

  • There are no fortune tellers at PRI, but it isn’t hard to foresee what is likely to happen in California in 2018. First, it’s a sure bet that the Legislature will pass a boxcar load of unneeded, heavy-handed and odious policies when lawmakers reconve...

  • Last week, an investment management and advisory firm comprised of professors from California State University, Sacramento, released a report attempting to estimate the costs to small businesses – and therefore to California’s economy – of implementi...

  • As California’s unemployment rate hovers above 12 percent, even the state’s Democratic leaders – notorious for regulating, taxing and complaining about California’s business community – are talking about jobs. They are championing t...

  • Tax reform has taken center stage in Washington. Just last week, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the House’s tax reform proposal, while the Senate released its own tax reform proposal. If you picked up a newspaper in California, you would...

  • Environment & Climate News (Heartland Institute), April 1, 2009 The California State Lands Commission has rejected an agreement by industry and environmental groups that would have allowed environmentally friendly oil production off the coast of...

  • Even after all the spending cuts and state worker furlough days, the state continues to be short on cash. The Assembly’s vote against the offshore drilling lease is troubling because it seems to lack any acknowledgment of California’s dire position b...

  • The California state Senate has passed and sent to the Assembly a bill to ban the use of food packaging containing perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Senate Bill 1313 would ban persons and companies from manufacturing...

  • EPA stresses national solution to national issue (Chicago, Illinois – January 3, 2008) On Wednesday, January 2, California, along with 15 other states, sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging EPA unlawfully rejected California&#...

  • California’s Air Resources Board has approved a landmark rule mandating a statewide cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels through 2020. The sweeping regulation targets carbon emissions from the production and burning of gasoline a...

  • “If I am elected, the bald will grow thick hair.” Alas, I am not a candidate for anything, and so the bald will have to continue their suffering in silence. And, frankly, were I campaigning for a position of public trust, I would lose badly,......

  • What happens when environmental fashion collides with a state’s desperate need for jobs and economic growth? That question will be put to the test when Californians vote November 2 on a ballot measure that would suspend the Golden State’s...

  • Key lawmakers are now promoting California’s energy and global warming policies as a model for the federal government and other States to follow. Thomas Tanton’s talk will review California’s policies and show that they have had significant costs as ...

  • ...

  • If approved by the California electorate in two weeks, Proposition 23 would suspend the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB32”) until the state unemployment rate declines to 5.5% or less for four con...

  • Last week, I had the chance to see the new movie “The Greatest Showman” about P.T. Barnum and how his dreams to set up his famous circus became a reality.  Hugh Jackman and the very entertaining cast deliver a crowd-pleasing and empowering performanc...

  • If someone tells you that you can get something for nothing, you might ask that person if that’s a subprime mortgage security he or she is selling — or whether they work for the California Air Resources Board. The board’s new “economic” study b...

  • On Friday, the Senate achieved the nearly-impossible and passed long-overdue tax reform legislation. While the legislation will surely be changed in the conference committee, whatever final legislation emerges will provide tax relief for many America...

  • If there was any doubt about the economic success of state-mandated green programs, it was erased this week after a state Senate hearing about the future of alternate fuels. By the end of the four-hour session, it was clear that environmental special...

  • When it comes to saving the planet, some of the most popular weapons are policies to promote energy efficiency. As Tim Greeff, deputy legislative director of the League of Conservation Voters recently quipped, “Efficiency is always the cheapest, clea...

  • When asked which factors influence their decisions about locating their businesses in California, the top concerns, according to a group of surveyed executives, are housing and real estate costs. No surprise, there. This state’s housing crunch is an ...

  • As the Barack Obama administration takes the reins on energy policy, Californians such as Lawrence-Berkeley National Lab Director Steven Chu, ascending to Department of Energy secretary, and Rep. Henry Waxman, becoming chair of the House Energy &...

  • New York Times, August 3, 2009 Californians’ eagerness to battle global warming seems to be cooling a bit: The latest survey on the state’s environmental attitudes, released on Wednesday, showed that 47 percent consider the threat of global warming v...

  • People frequently argue that California should be the model for the nation’s energy use, because it has managed to keep per capita energy consumption flat over the past couple of decades. Not so fast, says Tom Tanton of the Pacific Research Ins...

  • When rumors began circulating in late February that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was about to issue an executive order to study options for a peripheral canal that would divert water from the Sacramento River around the delicate Sacramen...

  • Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2009 No: Alternatives Are Too Expensive The U.S. and Western Europe can point to a remarkable achievement over the past 40 years: significant reductions in air pollution with only a modest effect on our economic gro...

  • SACRAMENTO – California sea lions sometimes swim some 90 miles up the Sacramento River, passing the state capitol on their journey. A local fisherman, Mr. Larry Legans, has been accused of shooting a sea lion for consuming the fish he caught. Mr. Leg...

  • Rightly or wrongly, Global Warming offers disaster for our planet. Countering it has become a consuming concern. Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) focus on carbon dioxide. “A reduction in carbon emissions has become an end in itself,” observes Bjor...

  • In a review of the claims made by the Western Climate Initiative, the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston identified several flaws made by the seven-state consortium, calling into question claimed cost savings ranging between $11.4 ...

  • Encore Online (Wilmington, NC), June 29, 2009 While most Americans are distracted by the situation in Iran and the vital current healthcare debates, Barack Obama and his friends in Congress are attempting to rush through one of the most draconian rea...

  • Download the Brief California is destined for yet another energy crisis, which, like the drought that’s been scorching the state, will be man-made. Shortages can be avoided, but that will require lawmakers to think in ways that few have engaged in in...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF In Gov. Jerry Brown’s California, all is nearly well. He led off his State of the State address with an assurance that “California is prospering.” He bragged about jobs created and personal income growth on his watch, and congratulat...

  • Download the Brief Sacramento’s response to President Trump’s Inauguration Day was to release the latest version of its heavy-handed plan to stop global warming. The state’s updated approach to environmental policy will be about as effective in stopp...

  • This legislative session, California could take an important step toward creating a true water market to meet the needs of cities, farmers and the environment with the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (Assembly Bill 1755). It’s hard to solve a pro...

  • DOWNLOAD THE PDF Flippy, California’s and the world’s first automated fast-food grill master, has been fired. But after a few tweaks, he will be rehired. The same can’t be said about the humans who will lose their jobs to robots due to the state’s mi...

  • Download the PDF California has declared itself a sanctuary state, where illegal immigrants are sheltered from federal law. The urge to “resist” President Trump runs so red hot in California that Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned two immigrants from Cambodia...

  • San Francisco—Many policies aiming to “green” the American car culture may do just the opposite, according to a new study from the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a California-based free market think tank. Car-tastrophe: How federal policy can help...

  • Unions have long had government-protected privileges that no other institution or organization has. They hold monopolies as exclusive collective bargaining units; can collect dues before paychecks are even issued (government is the only other institu...

  • As the United States tries to reduce emissions and become more energy independent, energy efficiency will likely play a major part in achieving these goals. But should the government be incentivizing consumers to lead more efficient lifestyles? Durin...

  • When I was a child, my father took me fishing on the Detroit River, where we caught plenty of perch and silver bass, but no whitefish. I might catch one in 2008 because whitefish are reproducing in the Detroit River for the first time since......

  • This year is the 40th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire, an event that has come to symbolize environmental degradation. The current condition of the river symbolizes something else worth recalling in the wake of Earth Day — environmental i...

  • As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, we’re also preparing for an overload of turkey, pumpkin pie, and relatives. Thanksgiving is about more than getting a food coma.  It’s about getting together with your loved ones and giving thank...

  • In what has come to be called “Climategate,” emails hacked from a server at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were leaked online in November 2009. These emails among prominent climate scientists included evidence that some ha...

  • It made headlines around the world last week when China purportedly announced a historic commitment to reduce its “carbon intensity” – the greenhouse gases it emits per unit of GDP. “China unveiled firm targets,” The Gua...

  • Political bias continues to increase in America’s classrooms and curricula.  Giving parents school-choice tools is the only real solution. In the current school year, there have been disturbing cases across the country of teachers imposing their anti...

  • Let’s take a quick look at a few of the environmental issues making news today, which include whether old coral formations in Mexico show a “catastrophic” rise in sea levels 12,000 years ago, and if so, what it might mean today. And more: Is consumpt...

  • California’s relatively mild climate means that, on average, our electricity bills are a smaller portion of our incomes relative to the rest of the country. But that doesn’t protect us from the increased costs of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a...

  • If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy poverty. It is a tragedy that forces some families to choose between keeping the lights on, or putting fo...

  • Energy poverty is a growing problem in San Diego’s working-class communities, and across California. If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy pove...

  • More and more West Virginians are living in energy poverty today. If you spend more than 10 percent of your income on electricity, natural gas, and other household energy costs, then you are afflicted by energy poverty. It is a tragedy that forces so...

  • Yesterday the Assembly Appropriations Committee was scheduled to consider AB 2058, “Reducing Plastic Bags,” by Lloyd E. Levine, a Sherman Oaks Democrat, which imposes on consumers a recycling “fee” of $.25 per bag. The committee, and all Californians...

  • SACRAMENTO – Tomorrow the Assembly Appropriations Committee considers AB 2058, “Reducing Plastic Bags,” by Lloyd E. Levine, a Sherman Oaks Democrat, which imposes on consumers a recycling “fee” of $.25 per bag. The committee, and all Californians, sh...

  • Organizers said the goal of the event, dubbed “Focus the Nation,” was to move past preaching to the green choir, to reach a captive audience of students in many fields who might not otherwise tune in to climate change issues.” The L...

  • If the ‘progressives’ get their way on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it will be ordinary Americans who suffer, says John Entine Let’s call it the black box syndrome: making revolutionary changes or new products without any real handle on what ha...

  • (1) The Discount Rate. Economists give wildly different estimates of the “social cost of carbon” and hence the “optimal” tax on an additional unit of emissions. These differences are not primarily due to the assumptions about climate systems or human...

  • A recent study of paleoclimate, the results of which appear in the August issue of Nature Geoscience, finds that today’s climate models do not accurately predict the most similar previous episode of climate warming in the geologic record. California ...

  • And so I asked the question on the minds of millions of my fellow concerned citizens: How can I get my snout into this trough? Easy: I buy a small car qualifying for the $4,500, and keep it for a few months until the cash-for-clunkers......

  • The lights may soon go out in the Washington, DC metro area and other parts of the country due to environmental activist opposition to coal-fired power plants, energy analysts are warning. “Electric power has already become painfully expensive ...

  • First it was too hot, then it was too icy, now it causes cancer.  Thanks to a judge’s ruling last week, California coffee lovers may soon be seeing dire warnings about cancer risks in their favorite coffeehouses. But is concern for cancer really what...

  • A new study commissioned by Governor John Kitzhaber underscores the need for competitive, rather than restrictive, markets for wood and timber products harvested in Oregon. Existing building policies for sustainable wood products stifle, rather than ...

  • Thanks to a stormy winter, California’s long drought is over says state government. But California’s man-made drought will continue as long as Sacramento misallocates our water supply. Maybe it’s time to appeal to a higher but distant authority. When...

  • A couple of Saturdays ago, I had to make a trip to my neighborhood Home Depot to pick up a few gardening supplies to do some work in the backyard. While looking for a replacement hose for my drip watering system (see, I am water......

  • Grocery shopping in California isn’t what it used to be. Traditionally, customers carried their items away in paper bags provided by the store through an unspoken, but well-established and always understood, contract between seller and buyer. But the...

  • Lecture from the Alworth Center for the Study of Peace and Justice, at The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota. Conventional Farming & Environmental Protection – by Amy Kaleita, Ph.D. Kaleita, who has a Ph.D. in agricultural engi...

  • Washington Post, October 1, 2009 Real Clear Politics, October 1, 2009 ReporterNews (Abilene, TX), September 30, 2009 Plateau in Temperatures Adds Difficulty to Task Of Reaching a Solution — New York Times, Sept. 23 WASHINGTON — In this he...

  • Tom Tanton [Senior Fellow, Energy Studies, Pacific Research Institute]: “The Copenhagen Climate Conference has concluded. The fanfare is over and world leaders have little to show for it. President Obama left the conference with hope that the c...

  • According to the report, in recent months corn ethanol producers have faced a number of financial setbacks, including at least one highly visible bankruptcy. Although greater use of ethanol is mandated by federal law, the industry is suffering from o...

  • On Sept. 17, the California Air Resources Board released an economic analysis of their own implementation scheme for AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The analysis said, “not only will the economy grow by a similar amount as we move to...

  • Businesses in California could use some good news, but one wonders when — and sometimes if — any will ever come. At the same time, there seems to be no end to the bad news, at least when government authorities are involved. The most recen...

  • When talking about the management of California’s power grid, people’s eyelids will surely grow heavy before you finish making your point. But how California’s power grid is managed is incredibly important.  Think back to 2001 and California’s electr...

  • Last month, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger held an international climate summit to show local governments in other countries that greenhouse gas emissions can be cut, to the degree he wants, without harming the economy. This comes as the finan...

  • The U.S. Supreme Court recently rebuffed environmentalists in their bid to get the judiciary to intervene in the global-warming controversy by invoking the old common law of nuisance, as though global warming could be solved through an injunction. Bu...

  • Tax hikes, especially in the state known for its extraordinarily heavy tax burden, should not be easily enacted. Yet the California Supreme Court has made the job much easier. California law previously required a two-thirds majority for the passage o...

  • Given a choice, would someone caught shoplifting rather make a voluntary arrangement with the victim to pay for their crime, or become involved with the police and courts? That’s a pointless question in California. There is no longer a choice. The ch...

  • Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on utilities companies being sued for emitting carbon dioxide. That the case has reached the Supreme Court indicates how confused our judicial system is on the subject of climate, but i...

  • It is basic Economics 101. Competitive markets create better outcomes than monopolists. Monopolists restrict supply and charge higher prices. Dynamically, monopolists face fewer incentives to create new products or improve how their products are made...

  • A new extensive report has just been released by one of our Blog Contributors: Tom Tanton. This report titled Top Ten Energy Myths offers insight into and facts on the myths that are permeated upon the public by the mainstream media. As an energy sup...

  • SACRAMENTO – Legislators are more than six weeks past the constitutional deadline for passing a state budget, yet the state’s majority Democrats last week weren’t even holding budget hearings. Why bother? The state is $19 billion in the r...

  • In California, we seem to be living in the days of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” As Steve Milloy said last week, there’s water, water everywhere, but almost nary a drop to drink. California has “840 miles of coastline,” tweeted Milloy, the autho...

  • We’ve heard it again and again, declarations from California’s progressive politicians on the need to attract “favored” industries to the state. And what are those favored industries? It’s an easy guess — tech, biotech, “clean” manufacturing, e...

  • The Laotian rock rat isn’t a rat at all. It’s a squirrel that walks upright on its hind legs and lives in limestone crevices rather than in trees. Based on the rock rat’s fossil record, scientists concluded that it went extinct 11 m...

  • Biofuels are made from either grain, sugar or vegetable oils–all important food products. There is increasing competition for feedstocks (food stocks?) between eating and energy. Rising prices for vegetable oil are forcing the world’s poo...

  • Ian Calderon, the Assembly’s Democratic majority leader, wants to criminalize the act of providing unrequested free plastic straws at sit-down restaurants. Assembly Bill 1884 threatens waiters who give customers straws they didn’t ask for with as man...

  • When it comes to choosing vendors and making other business decisions, we’ve all had our secret preferences – the tax attorneys who saved our competitors a lot of money, the website developers from our old firm, the office space next to our favorite ...

  • Sacramento Union, November 6, 2008 A new study, Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California, claims that California’s energy-efficiency policies created nearly 1.5 million jobs from 1977 to 2007. The Oct. 20 study, which examined on...

  • With the support of Governor Schwarzenegger, the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose last week announced a $1-billion joint plan to make the Bay Area “the electric-vehicle capital of the world.” The announcement follows President-elect Oba...

  • PRI Senior Fellow Dr. Wayne Winegarden appeared on The Ethan Bearman Show on KGO-AM to discuss the fiscal consequences of California’s Proposition 55 — the state ballot initiative that would extend the “temporary” personal inc...

  • If approved by the California electorate this November, Proposition 23 will suspend the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) until the California unemployment rate declines to 5.5 percent or less for four cons...

  • Earth Day turns 40 today, April 22, a good time for scientists, politicians, journalists and the public to dump climate-change orthodoxy. Too many facts are interfering with the familiar story line. The earth is getting warmer and the cause is modern...

  • Amen to that, but whether it happens will reveal whether the global political class really wants to deal with climate, or whether they are more concerned with global governance and the whole moveable feast of UN pretensions. My money is on the UN pro...

  • Facing a projected $40-billion budget shortfall, Governor Schwarzenegger last week proposed eliminating a redundant state board that has become a symbol of cronyism and inefficiency in Sacramento. Unlike most boards and commissions, which offer a sti...

  • It’s time to clear the air about how the United States affects the environment — and how extremist environmentalism could affect the U.S. A report of leading environmental indicators by the Pacific Research Institute and the American Ente...

  • California environmental officials have decided against implementing the “cool car” regulations they finalized last June. The move could be a first step toward a better environmental policy and an improved economy. Last June the California Air Resour...

  • Kansas City Hispanic News (Kansas City, MO), April 30, 2008* Holmen Courier (West Salem, WI), April 24, 2008 Mundo L.A. (Van Nuys, CA), April 24, 2008 With all the reminders to recycle, shrink our carbon footprint, and reduce our consumption of goods...

  • The Eureka Reporter, April 24, 2008 SACRAMENTO — Earth Day events here were rather different this year. Car dealers showcased their latest hybrids, hippies were little in evidence, and the crowd was more upscale. There was even, yes, valet parking fo...

  • It’s the day of the year that the world celebrates being green and there’s certainly a lot to be “green” about today. The Pacific Research Institute and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) published their yearly Index of Leading Environmental Ind...

  • Two items rattled across my desk that, at first glance, didn’t appear to share much in common. The first, a letter from former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall and his wife, Lee Udall, to their grandchildren, appeared in Colorado-ba...

  • The press for more offshore drilling has opened a rift among California environmentalists. Many are calling for increased oil recovery to reduce the amount of natural oil seepage, while others continue to fear the risk of major spills. In Santa Barba...

  • The Pacific Research Institute recently released its “U.S. Economic Freedom Index: 2008 Report” and the results are pretty interesting. PRI defines economic freedom as “the right of individuals to pursue their interests through voluntary exchange of ...

  • To pay for it, the bill’s authors would use the same resource they tried to take in HR 6: rescinding tax incentives for the oil and natural gas industry. That could raise almost $18 billion over 10 years. But the renewable-energy lobby is trying to.....

  • If you want to handicap a man for the rest of his life, deny him an education. This is manifestly true in America, as the disadvantages associated with a poor education tend to multiply in a free society and a free economy. It is our......

  • When the Pacific Research Institute asked business leaders about what makes California an unattractive state to locate or expand their companies, one respondent said, “Every single thing you can imagine.”  And, among the many complaints from business...

  • The California electorate next month will vote on Proposition 23, which would suspend the implementation of the state’s global warming (i.e., energy taxation) law (“AB32″) until the unemployment rate reaches 5.5 percent for four consecuti...

  • Legislation that would have required all electric power sold in the state to be generated by renewable sources by 2045 was held up in the final days of the recently-completed legislative session. But it will come back. Should the idea ever become law...

  • Washington. The maxim states that the simplest solution is usually the correct one. And America’s financial crisis is no exception to the rule. Overwhelmed by bailout plans and other convoluted proposals, many of our nation’s leaders are missing the ...

  • Of the hot topics discussed in Washington and the media, there is probably none where the substance-to-blather ratio is higher than in energy, where slogans substitute for serious thought, and where pointing out unwelcome facts is frowned upon as a m...

  • Not surprisingly, the study asserts that continuing on a “business-as-usual” energy path risks greater economic insecurity, while aggressive acceleration of clean energy assures faster and more sustained economic growth. Relying on renewable sources ...

  • Recent polls show that many college students are worried about the declining state of free speech on campus. In California, the attacks on campus free speech have been fierce and increasing.  PRI’s Steve Hayward, who is currently teaching at UC Berke...

  • Earth Day turns 40 today, a good time to review some realities we didn’t know on the first Earth Day in 1970, when economic prosperity was assumed to be the enemy of the environment. That turns out to be wrong. The Index of Leading Environmental......

  • Stephen H. Schneider, hailed as the “Carl Sagan of climate science,” and who served on the international panel that won the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore, has passed away at 65. He should be remembered as much more than a global warming alarmist. In....

  • Steven Hayward is not only the author of the forthcoming “The Age of Reagan, 1980-1989: The Conservative Counterrevolution. He is also the author of the fourteenth annual edition of the Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, just published ...

  • Environmental groups advocating for land conservation and protection of endangered species are lining up in opposition to measures to expedite solar energy projects on federal lands, particularly in the Mojave Desert, announced by Interior Department...

  • Environment and Climate News, August 1, 2008 Live Journal, July 23, 2008 Greenie Watch, August 26, 2008 Scientists at Columbia University are developing a carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber device that removes one ton of CO2 from the air every day. While ...

  • Green groups blame a widely-used insecticide for bee ‘die-offs,’ but the evidence is weak. In January, the European Commission advised the EU not to use neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of agricultural insecticides. Now the member c...

  • SACRAMENTO – One of the most unusual vote-buying scams the Obama administration may have used to pass its health care socialization plan was an alleged promise to two Democratic congressmen to increase federal water supplies to the San Joaquin Valley...

  • Americans are rightfully outraged over the massive data breach at Equifax.  We’re also upset about how the company handled the announcement of the breach and its proposed remedy. What made the Equifax breach so jarring was how many of us are victims....

  • Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA), February 15, 2008 Press Dakotan, February 15, 2008 Billings Gazette (MT), February 12, 2008 Investor’s Business Daily, February 11, 2008 WASHINGTON – The red-hot congressional love affair with the alternati...

  • Twenty years ago, I had my first op-ed published in a major newspaper, the Los Angeles Times. The title was “Pull the Plug on the Electric Car Mandate.” In that column, I pointed out that battery-powered (non-hybrid) electric vehicles were not ready ...

  • In March, the Trump administration saved Obamacare in Idaho. It was a hard decision for administration officials, who harbor no love for the health law. But it was the right call. Idaho officials wanted to help residents who have been harmed by Obama...

  • Say Anything Blog, May 14, 2009 RXnews.com (Bismarck, ND), May 14 2009 12:00AM Great video of Dr. Robert Murphy talking about the myth of so-called “green jobs.” I’ll be interviewing Dr. Murphy on my radio show this Friday, and he’ll be appearing at ...

  • Advocates for Agriculture, December 19, 2008 By: Alan Caruba In 2006 the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” that was so full of absurd claims, dressed up to look like science, that I ma...

  • Obamacare’s fifth open enrollment season just ended for the 39 states served by Healthcare.gov — and it was a major failure in terms of enrollees. Fewer than 10 million people signed up for 2018 health plans through the state and federal exchan...

  • Most of the press reports on the negative environmental impacts of renewable fuel have centered on the production of ethanol. Seems that ethanol production, because of changes in land use patterns, run off, fertilizers and sprays, often causes more p...

  • It seems that Seattle is no longer evergreen for Amazon. Last week, the company announced that it’s on the hunt for a second headquarters. There wasn’t a clear explanation for why the online retail giant is seeking a new habitat. But even climate cha...

  • My husband, Charles Kesler, and I have spent the last several Christmas holidays in London. Each year, the news headlines about the National Health Service (single-payer British style) seem to get worse and worse.  I often save the articles to use as...

  • CNSNews.com, March 24, 2009 Lux Libertas, March 24, 2009 Green Being, March 24, 2009 (CNSNews.com) – While President Barack Obama touted a greener future for America on Monday, free-market economists expressed skepticism about the prospects of green ...

  • California is home to six of the 10 cities with the worst air pollution in the country. This seems inconceivable, given that the state has the strictest environmental rules in the nation. Clearly, policymakers have been making the wrong choices. Of c...

  • Editor’s Note:  Damon Dunn breaks down what are often-confusing economic concepts and makes free market economics more relatable to our everyday lives in his new Right by the Bay column, ‘Free Markets 101’.  We are pleased to present his debut column...

  • The U.S. economy has generated more wealth for more people than any other economic system in human history, and it’s not even close. What began as a small group of colonies clustered near the eastern seaboard of a mostly empty continent founded by po...

  • The United States’ K-12 system of education must evolve to keep pace with the changing global economy. America has consistently taken a leading role in the world in a broad range of industries because we have avoided each century’s intellectual polit...

  • Coming from Hollywood may explain Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s disconnect with reality. In the real world, saying so doesn’t make it so. In Copenhagen this week, he made the astonishing claim that the Golden State is evidence we need not ...

  • For too long, Sacramento has ignored Rural California, enacting policies that are out-of-step with the values of those living north of the State Capitol. Fed-up North State residents have been loudly pushing a proposal to break the state in two. If t...

  • Ancient scrolls tell us there was once an era when Californians rose up against the heavy hand of taxation. In the now-distant year of 1978 voters approved Proposition 13 to limit the government’s reach in property taxes. The final tally was a 65-35 ...

  • Californians who didn’t fill up on Tuesday are probably kicking themselves today. Tax hikes on gasoline and diesel fuel went into effect, sending prices significantly higher. The levy on a gallon of gasoline spiked 12 cents, from 18 cents to 30, whil...

  • Don’t Mind the Gap: Gender Pay Disparities Are No Evidence of Discrimination By Sally C. Pipes, President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy Pacific Research Institute October 14, 2016 Hillsdale College’s Center for Co...

  • Back on Feb. 15, George Will wrote an op-ed in the The Washington Post in which he claimed: As global levels of sea ice declined last year, many experts said this was evidence of man-made global warming. Since September, however, the increase in sea ...

  • A lush green lawn has a certain aesthetic appeal, there’s no denying that. If lawn was counted as a crop, however, it would be one of the nation’s biggest, but it is far from a critical need as far as water use. Yet, watering lawns......

  • Front Page Magazine, April 22, 2008 Earth Day 2008 brings good news about the environment but also reveals a strange dynamic. Despite a nearly non-stop public dialogue, including an Oscar-winning movie and two Nobel prizes, Americans are actually tak...

  • With the holiday season upon us, now is the time when pundits in Washington and Sacramento get out their crystal balls and offer their unsolicited predictions on what will happen in politics, policy, and government in 2018. Now that we have the “Righ...

  • Sensible environmental regulations play an indispensable role ensuring that public lands are sustainably managed. But, as Earth Day’s 47th anniversary is celebrated, it is important to recognize that sensible regulations should also encourage the res...

  • Something was wrong with Sally Ann, the beloved boat of Barry Treahy, another boating fan hit by the switch over. For months, Sally Ann did not run right and Treahy’s remedies weren’t working. He kept changing her fuel filters, rebuilt he...

  • Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher of Yuba City joins us at his Sacramento office to talk about the Oroville Dam emergency, building California water storage, and his proposal to give the North State a bigger voice in California politics....

  • Environment & Climate News (Heartland Institute), September 1, 2008 Global warming activists are putting agriculture firmly in their crosshairs, launching new efforts to restrict meat production and consumption. This latest anti-meat campaign bu...

  • Whenever you hear a politician start a sentence with, “If we can put a man on the moon… ,” grab your wallet. For years, Democrats, enthralled by the cargo cult of the Kennedy presidency, have used the moon landing as proof that no b...

  • San Francisco – California should lift bans and restrictions to help alleviate the water distribution problem, according to Go with the Flow: Why water markets can solve California’s water crisis, a Pacific Research Institute report released today. T...

  • The primary goal of cap-and-trade legislation is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It’s really that simple. But, as someone once said, the devil is in the details. And, that saying holds true for cap and trade, too. Steven Hayward, a Fellow at the ...

  • Earth Day was held this week, which is an appropriate time to make an assessment. Generally, the environment in Jacksonville is pleasant. It’s rare to have an air pollution alert. The St. Johns River looks marvelous. Yet, tributaries are unfit ...

  • Later the same month, Al Gore introduced a proposal for 100 percent of U.S. electricity to be generated from renewable energy within 10 years. The Google web page for their plan references both schemes, stating that the intention of the latest propos...

  • Next week, Republicans will officially take control of Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have both said that they’re “renewing our commitment to repeal ObamaCare” in 2015. The U.S. Su...

  • When Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order last year mandating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, he said he did it for California’s future. But his motives were irrelevant. He broke the law, says the...

  • As much as we have criticized Gov. Jerry Brown, we have to acknowledge that on occasion he will act as the senior statesman of his party, beating back its most mindless impulses. The most recent example: his judicious counsel on single-payer health c...

  • Generous, taxpayer-funded subsidies for electric car purchases have become just another costly subsidy benefitting the rich, finds a new study released today by the California-based free-market think tank, the Pacific Research Institute. Click here t...

  • Download Capital Ideas, October 2017 Gasoline prices spiked more sharply in some states after deadly storms in Texas and Florida than at any time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But in California, steep fuel prices are an everyday event. The average...

  • In sharp contrast to a recent study from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) reporting implementation of AB32 would bring about a net job loss and raise state unemployment in the near future and stressing that long term effects are “uncertai...

  • Renewable energy that is forced on the California market means higher energy costs for everyone. Renewables are simply more expensive—which is why their proponents have to argue for mandates (and not coincidently, the highest levels of direct subsidy...

  • On Friday, Governor Brown released his final “May Revise” budget proposal. For those who aren’t fluent in government-ese, the May Revise is the Governor’s revised budget proposal, taking into account updated tax receipts, economic trends, and budget ...

  • Governor Jerry Brown wants to eliminate dozens of state panels and commissions, a good idea and long overdue. But the governor needs to be more inclusive, and stalk bigger game. His list includes the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, a typical so...

  • As I wrote back in 2007, “Investing in renewable energy will provide a clean source of power and create an explosion of new jobs. In late September [2007], this claim attracted the attention of the U.S. Senate Energy and Public Works Committee ...

  • Orange County Register, May 8, 2008 Economic growth best way to aid environment Here’s good news that may have escaped attention. The environment worldwide is getting better and better, largely because of economic growth, efficiency and innovat...

  • As we approach the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union (oops, I meant Earth Day) it’s so easy to confuse the two because they occur, quite by coincidence I’m sure, on the same day. Anyway April 22 will bring forth an a...

  • Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, the American Enterprise Institute and the Pacific Research Institute are out today with their annual Index of Leading Environmental Indicators. Despite the scare talk of groups like the Sierra Club, after four ...

  • In a recent interview with Jason Clemens, Economist and Director of Research for the Pacific Research Institute, he explained that California’s budget problems are not really about taxes or the costs of illegal immigration. PRI is near completion of ...

  • With the end of the year upon us, what better time to talk about all that we have accomplished at the Pacific Research Institute in 2017. In the past 12 months, we have: promoted policies that expand access to high-quality education through school ch...

  • Over the years, I had the opportunity to work for 9 consecutive Assembly Republican Leaders.  To say that leading the minority party in California is a great challenge is an understatement. Transitioning from being one Senator representing roughly 1 ...

  • Supporters of the Waxman-Markey climate bill have not seriously disputed the extreme costs and the negligible benefits estimated by critics of the cap-and-trade proposal. I must confess that I was expecting a real fight, but some very important marke...

  • On New Year’s Day, months after wildfires had started their deadly march through California, the Los Angeles Times published an article headlined “After the flames, allegations of rent-gouging fly in devastated wine country communities.” It did not i...

  • Reason Online, May 1, 2008 A nifty new study by some Massachusetts Institute of Technology students finds that even the average American homeless person uses about double the amount of greenhouse gas emitting energy than is the world average. Below a...

  • The Pacific Research Institute joins all Americans in honoring our fallen heroes this Memorial Day Weekend.  We salute the bravery and sacrifices of the military servicemembers throughout our nation’s history who gave their lives so we could li...

  • A few months ago, Tim Anaya and I interviewed for PRI’s podcast Farhad Zabihi, a math professor at the College of Marin, who had been house hunting for nearly a year in Marin County.  Marin is just south of Napa and Sonoma — two of......

  • President Obama, who wants to emphasize science, has chosen Carol Browner for his “Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change,” a new post being dubbed the “Climate Czar.” Browner’s recent career will be of interest to Americans struggl...

  • The California Environmental Quality Act is by far the most destructive of the causes that factor into California’s housing crisis. Its regulatory hurdles have sharply increased the cost of building, which has led to a severe shortage of homes that p...

  • Proposition 23 on the Nov. 2 ballot would delay implementation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32). A recent study from the California Small Business Roundtable deals with the economic costs of that legislation. “T...

  • Just came across this article on urban development in Copenhagen, Denmark, and how many parallels there are to what we face in Houston, where a decentralized city makes transit increasingly impractical. Excerpts: In all the 37 years I have been trave...

  • Earlier this year, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final version of the advanced renewable fuel standard, known as RFS2. The new standard sets greenhouse gas emission performance standards for the nation’s transportati...

  • Within the last five years, concern over both global climate change and the economic and national security implications of U.S. oil consumption has created an interest in alternate sources of liquid fuel, namely, “biofuels” derived from agricultural ...

  • Quoted in The Telegraph, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen’s biggest limousine company, said her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the “summit to save the world”, she will have 200. The airport has as many as 140 extr...

  • One California lawmaker is gaining momentum with a bill that would include “climate change” among the science topics in public schools. Senate Bill 908, authored by Joe Simitian, a Palo Alto Democrat, would include climate change in science textbooks...

  • Proposition 23 on the Nov. 2 ballot would delay implementation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32). A recent study from the California Small Business Roundtable deals with the economic costs of that legislation. Th...

  • SACRAMENTO – While walking though the supermarket the other day, my wife and I began playing a game I call Unintended Consequences. We tried to guess how things will really work after some new law is put in place. Our governments continually pass leg...

  • In January, H. Lee Scott Jr., chief executive of Wal-Mart, announced that the company would begin working on its second wave of environmental conservation initiatives. The move follows Wal-Mart’s 2005 plans to create less waste, reduce energy u...

  • On August 6, the California Coastal Commission approved a desalination plant at Carlsbad in San Diego County, a region with severe water needs in normal times and hard hit by the current drought. The $300-million for-profit venture by the Poseidon Re...

  • Recently, Gilbert Hyatt presented his side of a tax dispute case to the voter-elected Board of Equalization. The state has been pursuing Mr. Hyatt for 26 years, alleging that he owes millions in back taxes and penalties from capital gains from a comp...

  • New Video Series on the Environment Episode 1: Hysteria’s History: Why Haven’t We Starved to Death? “Hysteria’s History: Why Haven’t We Starved to Death?,” is the first in a four-part series aimed at exposing young people to the historical progressio...

  • New Video Series on the Environment Episode 2: Hysteria’s History: Why Haven’’t We Run Out of Oil? “Hysteria’s History: Why Haven’t We Run Out of Oil?,” is the second in a four-part series aimed at exposing young people to the historical progre...

  • Why hasn’t the chihuahua gone extinct?...

  • Video Series on the Environment Episode 4: Hysteria’s History: Why is Alarmism so Dangerous? Hysteria’s History: Why is Alarmism so Dangerous? is the last video in a four-part series aimed at exposing young people to the historical progression of env...

  • Just after the New Year, a photo taken by the Washington Policy Center, a free-market think tank in the Evergreen State, generated national headlines over a photo illustrating the spike in soda costs in the city of Seattle. A photo taken at a local C...

  • If a Religion of Global Warming follower asks you why the US won’t sign the Kyoto treaty… show them this graph. It should shut them up immediately. Hat Tips to Red State and WILLisms Of course, it probably won’t shut them up. So mak...

  • I just returned from a two-week trip to Australia and New Zealand.  During my trip, my friends and I spent a few days each in Sydney and Auckland, and went on a cruise across Tasmania in between.  We had a wonderful time experiencing the culture......

  • PRI Ideas in Action – August 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impactpublic policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions. Read PDF...

  • PRI Ideas in Action – December 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions. Read PDF...

  • PRI Ideas in Action – February 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions....

  • PRI Ideas in Action – January 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions....

  • PRI Ideas in Action – July 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions....

  • PRI Ideas in Action – June 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions. Read PDF...

  • PRI Ideas in Action – March 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions....

  • PRI Ideas in Action – May 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions....

  • PRI Ideas in Action – November 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions. Read PDF...

  • PRI Ideas in Action – October 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions. Read PDF...

  • PRI Ideas in Action – September 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions. Read PDF...

  • With the passage of California’s Assembly Bill 32, the Golden State has embarked upon an experiment in energy policy that has no modern parallel. Several recent studies have shown that the consequences to the state could be dire, and that Calif...

  • It is increasingly clear that the leak of the internal emails and documents of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in November has done for the climate change debate what the Pentagon Papers did for the Vietnam war debate 40 ye...

  • To borrow the blunt language of Generation X and the “Millennials,” Does the United States suck on the environment? This 13th edition of the Index of Leading Environmental Indicators aims to address this question in a new and broader context. Contrar...

  • As this report and others like it have explored for more than a decade, environmental improvement in the United States has been substantial and dramatic, almost across the board. The chief drivers of this improvement are economic growth, constantly i...

  • San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released the 2009 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual report highlighting the significant environmental developments and milestones in t...

  • Repairing California’s crumbling roads and highways, and investing in our other infrastructure needs should be at the top of the agenda in Sacramento.  Often, it falls victim to other budget priorities. There’s no question that setting aside a secure...

  • Investor-owned utility company National Grid agreed to a 15-year purchasing contract with Cape Wind, where the utility would purchase the project’s wind energy at 20.7 cents per kilowatt hour beginning in 2013, and increasing at 3.5 percent annually ...

  • Last month, the Chicago Climate Exchange announced that at the end of this year it will shut down its voluntary program for trading greenhouse gas emissions. The closing of the CCX comes on the tails of a shift in congressional power in the mid-term ...

  • In early April, UCLA will decide whether to fire epidemiologist James Enstrom, a fixture in the UCLA Department of Public Health since the 1970s. If UCLA does give him the boot, Assemblyman Dan Logue has threatened to hold hearings. Whatever happens ...

  • Last week, Tesla analysts at Goldman Sachs reiterated their sell rating of the stock, citing decreased delivery projections of its Models S and X, and slower production of its mass market Model 3 (see: that’s what I want!).  Goldman analyst David Tam...

  • The California Air Resources Board is mulling a mix of regulations, fees and market-like mechanisms to impose on California, to comply with the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. That 2006 law requires California to cut greenhouse gas emissions ba...

  • Grocery store cashier: Do you need a bag? Customer: No thanks, it’s just a few items. I’ll put everything in this plastic produce bag with the bananas. Cashier: Ok. We just got those bags the other day. They’re awesome. Customer: Oh, why? Cashier: Th...

  • Over the past eight years, which industry has invested the most to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases? You might be thinking of windmills or solar panels. Or maybe those folks who are trying to make energy out of pond scum … er, algae. But......

  • We’re all hearing it: the bull market is “long on the tooth,” and the market volatility we’ve seen so far this year is a sign that a big correction, or even a bear market, may be around the corner.  Interest rate fears, trade wars, and......

  • The mood was reportedly celebratory on the evening of July 17 after legislators approved a decade-long extension of the state’s carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program. But that’s not to say everyone was happy, or should be. Assembly Bill 398 will conti...

  • As the sharing economy has grown in California, we’re changing how we approach many common life transactions. When we’re looking for a repair person to fix a broken toilet, now we might look to Thumbtack to bid out of the job when before we would......

  • Home Energy Savings, December 31, 2008 Yahoo Answers, December 31, 2008 Resolved Question: Is it about time to pull the plug on windpower? Can taxpayers afford another ethanol boondoggle? “According to a recent report by the National Renewable Techno...

  • Although China’s family planning policy has received criticism over the past three decades,[not least of which is for human rights violations] Zhao said that China’s population program has made a great historic contribution to the well-be...

  • Over the weekend, I made the rounds of various bipartisan holiday parties filled with California politicos.  The late-night vote on the Senate GOP tax plan was certainly the conversation du jour. My liberal friends decried the harried, last-minute na...

  • A deadly hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County has residents on edge. Since last November, at least 17 people have died and nearly 300 others have been sent to the hospital in what public health officials are calling the deadliest outbreak of the ...

  • Over the last decade, wind energy capacity in the United States has been increasing at a rapid rate. This surge is partly influenced by the attractive “green” aspects of wind energy, namely that it is carbon-free and nearly limitless. Something else,...

  • In November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47, which lowered the penalties for a host of so-called “nonviolent offenses” from felonies to misdemeanors. The measure, along with public safety realignment and 2016’s Prop. 57 – which increa...

  • Modern agriculture has been blamed for a host of environmental problems, including global warming, water pollution, and ecosystem damage. While growing crops and raising livestock does have significant environmental impact, in many cases the situatio...

  • SACRAMENTO – The state’s Democratic legislators have an inordinate hostility to the free marketplace, as evidenced by their endless push for new business regulations and for higher taxes for corporations and wealthy Californians. Yet there is o...

  • The battle over the 2020 census has already begun. No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  The calendar on the wall does say May 2018. The census is a multi-year process that involves lots of planning and organizing to design the survey and get all......

  • NASA’s James Hansen, head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is no stranger to controversy. But in September, Dr. Hansen took his activism to another level by endorsing “ecovandalism” in a British court. Dr. Hansen, who holds an M.S. in astr...

  • Click here to download the brief Nerves are apparently raw in union halls across California. Labor leaders are waiting in dread over a coming Supreme Court ruling. The decision could cost them members, and more importantly to the union bosses, money....

  • Now that California Attorney General Jerry Brown is an official candidate for governor, we’re getting to relive some California political history as pundits and reporters think back to Brown’s first stint as governor (1975-83) along with ...

  • Last week, the California Chamber of Commerce came out with its annual list of Job Killer bills.  In putting together this list, the Chamber wanted to call attention to the negative impact these 21 bills have on the state’s job climate and economy sh...

  • According to various sources, including his own own campaign website, Garamendi, argued strongly that the plan would “signal” that California wants to open offshore drilling and supporters would push for more oil exploration on the West C...

  • “Pension risk includes lava,” said Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute, a sister free-market think tank in Hawaii.  Recently, the Grassroot Institute hosted an event titled “Navigating risk at Hawaii’s public pension system.” Thom Will...

  • A clean energy advocate in the California Legislature wants internal combustion vehicles to sputter out of existence on the state’s roads and highways. “The cars that we drive today are based on technology that’s 100 years old,” said Assembly member ...

  • Paul Krugman has been on the warpath lately regarding climate change economics. He has devoted his last two NYT columns (here and here) to the subject, as well as back-to-back blog posts (here and here). True to form, Krugman accuses those who disagr...

  • Ask anyone who drives even on a semi-regular basis in Los Angeles which city has the worst traffic in the world and the answer will invariably be “Los Angeles” with no moment of hesitation. By no coincidence, a transportation analytics firm says the ...

  • There’s some concern that the 2015 motor voter law will automatically register illegal immigrants to vote in California when they renew their driver’s license after April 1. The Department of Motor Vehicles is bound by a January court ruling to send ...

  • Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow and Senior Director of PRI’s Center for Education, made a powerful case for why all students and parents need school choice on the nationally-televised morning show “Fox and Friends” on the Fox News ...

  • Sacramento’s response to President Trump’s Inauguration Day was to release the latest version of its heavy-handed plan to stop global warming. The state’s updated approach to environmental policy will be about as effective in stopping climate change ...

  • The Legislature recently passed a bill that will move California’s presidential primary from June up to Super Tuesday – which will be March 3, 2020. Upon Governor Brown signing the bill, Secretary of State Alex Padilla told the Los Angeles Times that...

  • As we have noted so many times before, rent control laws are one of the many flawed public policies that are driving California’s steep housing costs. Look here, here and here. Of course, we’re not alone in making this assertion. There is an extensiv...

  • It would seem that being an environmentalist these days increasingly means raising alarms about theoretical dangers at the cost of ignoring a clear and present peril. Look no further than democratic opposition in the Congress – and a veto threat by t...

  • Recently, a friend of mine told me how much she and her husband enjoyed subscribing to a home meal prep delivery service. Instead of having to go to the grocery story, they deliver all the fresh ingredients you need to make a gourmet recipe right......

  • Late last month, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta challenged state legislators to abolish one of the most noxious barriers to work: occupational licensing. If Sacramento lawmakers followed through, hundreds of thousands of Californians would be ...

  • Cutting, styling, shampooing, and curling hair properly takes some practice. But how much before a person is skilled enough to obtain a license to perform those tasks in California? The state says at least 1,500 hours of training are needed. Common-s...

  • California lawmakers can’t hide from the state’s housing crisis caused by a severe shortage of homes. They’ve even promised to do something about it. But a bill just signed into law last month indicates that the promise is likely to be hollow. Rather...

  • Late last month, the California Energy Commission and Public Utility Commission touted “feed-in tariffs” as yet another approach to spur development of renewable electricity sources. These “renewables” remain a favorite of government despite dismal e...

  • My fellow blogger Tim Anaya wrote a blog earlier this week on the latest scheme from Sacramento to game the new tax law.  Senate Bill 227 would allow taxpayers to make charitable donations to the state and receive a tax credit for the full amount......

  • Customers could not use their thermostats during “emergency events,” according to the proposal, part of a 236-page revision to building standards. They would apply only to new buildings. The document is scheduled to be considered by the C...

  • The California Legislative Analyst’s Office is projecting a $19 billion budget surplus for the 2018-19 fiscal year which begins next July 1. The media wonder if lawmakers should spend it or save it. There’s a third option, though, that is going unmen...

  • To say that I am a fan of the San Francisco Giants is an understatement. 24 Willie Mays Plaza is perhaps my favorite place on Earth.  I make the trek down to AT&T Park at least half a dozen times each year.  Visit my den......

  • One of the most hotly contested races this year is the race for Lieutenant Governor. Gavin Newsom once called the lieutenant governor’s office “a largely ceremonial post . . . with no real authority and no real portfolio.” Of course, that hasn’t stop...

  • Barack Obama has made his economic thinking excruciatingly clear, so it also is clear that his running mate should be Rumpelstiltskin. He spun straw into gold, a skill an Obama administration will need to fulfill its fairy-tale promises. Obama recent...

  • Looking back on 2017, perhaps the most under-reported story of the year has been President Trump’s success in cutting back regulations.  Back in January at the start of his administration, Mr. Trump signed an executive order requiring agencies to cut...

  • The Examiner, September 1, 2009 Reliance on renewable mandates will cost, not create, jobs MIDLAND — The adoption of “green energy” policy recommendations made in a recent report by the National Resources Defense Council would push Michigan’s economy...

  • As featured in Kaiser Health News Morning Briefing Maine made history earlier this month by becoming the first state to adopt Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion via ballot initiative. The vote could inspire progressive activists in other states to ...

  • As California’s water situation continues to cause problems, well-intentioned analyses continue to promote misguided solutions while missing some obvious simple steps. Mike Taugher of the Contra Costa Times recently related California’s water woes to...

  • he digital books are standards-aligned and may be viewed on a big screen or a computer, downloaded, or printed for classroom use so schools can take advantage of them using existing hardware – even if they do not have laptops for students. This...

  • Michael Crichton, who died at 66 on November 4, election day, may not have been an outstanding stylist but he sure sold a few books in his time, mostly in the techno-thriller genre, such as Jurassic Park. He was a writer of ideas and also......

  • The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the $3 billion state stem cell agency, is in the news again, but not because of any miraculous cure or therapy it produced. The news is that CIRM wants more money from Californians and that c...

  • On Aug. 6, the California Coastal Commission approved a desalination plant at Carlsbad in San Diego County, a region with severe water needs in normal times and hard hit by the current drought. The $300-million for-profit venture by the Poseidon Reso...

  • As he celebrated Democrats’ November election wins, California’s overwrought Tom Steyer took a moment to sound a bit like someone from the other party — before he reverted back to form. “When we think about what a more prosperous, healthy...

  • ...

  • In 2017, PRI launched its first podcast, and because we are headquartered near Wine Country, and because no other think tank does wine better than PRI (okay, I may be biased), we made it our tradition to ask each guest for a wine or cocktail......

  • * First you’ve got this minor IPCC contributing author arguing that big guns Michael Mann, Phil Jones, and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process. A good excerpt: I may confirm what has been written in other places: research in...

  • Environment and Climate News (Heartland Institute), October 9, 2008 A senior science advisor with the National Park Service (NPS) knowingly used false scientific data to overstate the environmental impact of a family-run oyster farm in the Point Reye...

  • Vol.4 No.9 September 21, 2010 New EPA Car Labels Should Stick to Facts By Amy Kaleita, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies, Pacific Research Institute Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation...

  • California’s man-made drought will become permanent in 2022, the year that “guidelines for efficient water use” must be in place to comply with a couple of bills signed in late May by Gov. Jerry Brown. The main provisions of Senate Bill 606 and Assem...

  • Study Shows Some Will See Power Costs Equal More Than 10 Percent of Income Interactive Map Shows Consumers How Much Local Electricity Costs Will Rise SACRAMENTO – Low-income communities nationwide could face higher electricity expenditures under the ...

  • SAN FRANCISCO — The Pacific Research Institute, a free market think tank based in San Francisco, released a new report debunking the common myths about energy in America. Top Ten Energy Myths, by Thomas Tanton, senior fellow in Energy Studies, ...

  • San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank based in San Francisco, released a new report today that reviews the state of California’s agriculture production, examines the barriers that are impeding California’s agricultu...

  • California’s Legislature made a run at fixing the state’s housing crisis as the session was ending a bit more than a month ago. But it won’t solve anything next year, as home prices are expected to rise in 2018. In fact, lawmakers’ poor-faith effort ...

  • Making housing more affordable in California has been at the top of the agenda in Sacramento for more than a year. Unfortunately, lawmakers have mishandled the opportunity to pass meaningful reforms and now a new solar energy mandate will soon force ...

  • The negative impacts of setting — and increasing — minimum wages should be beyond debate by now. The economic science is settled. Yet California policymakers continue to believe in unicorn economic fantasies. For example, more than a doze...

  • San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a free-market think tank based in California, released a new report examining the environmental and health concerns associated with genetically modified (GM) crops. The Way in Which We Produce Our...

  • Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a very interesting presentation in Sacramento by the Edelman public relations firm on its annual “Trust Barometer” survey. For the past 18 years, the firm’s research arm has conducted a global survey measuri...

  • Steven F. Hayward stopped by the vast Silicon Graffiti production facilities in the suburbs of San Jose on Friday to discuss the second and final volume in his history of Ronald Reagan and his era. The new volume is titled, The Age of Reagan: The......

  • San Francisco— Today the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a California-based public policy think tank, launched www.EnvironmentalTrends.org, an interactive website for the unconventional environmentalist. The website features expert analysis on curr...

  • Environment & Climate News (Heartland Institute), September 1, 2008 New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has opened an investigation into two companies developing and operating wind farms in the state. Cuomo, who announced the inv...

  • California’s economy has now surpassed that of United Kingdom, making it the fifth-largest in the world if it were its own country. Despite this growth, and in contrast to the perception that all is well in California because the economy looks so rob...

  • When Proposition 1A was “birthed” last year as a part of the terrible 2009 budget deal that gave us the largest tax increase in the history of any state, it was highly respected and noted economist Benjamin Zycher who poured over the deta...

  • The famous quote goes that there is nothing certain in life but death and taxes. When talking about your California Legislature, I’d add a third item to the list – there’s nothing certain in life but death, taxes, and silly bills. In my past life......

  • California has to be a leader, the progressives tell us, by which they mean that ordinary people should just shut up and eat their spinach. The spinach is necessary for the good of mankind, ordinary people included, and, anyway, it tastes good, fills...

  • Schwarzenegger ‘open minded about nuclear power’ Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger believes that nuclear power has “a great future” and that it is time to “relook at that issue again rather than just looking the other way and living in denial.” ...

  • After a bruising battle over cap and trade last year, President Obama has set his sights on another target — oil and natural gas companies. Vilifying “big oil” might be good politics, but it’s bad policy. If we’re going to get serious about energy so...

  • I am giving a speech in San Francisco today. Here’s a taste: How should we take the long view after 100 days of Obamamania? In the course of completing my long book about the Reagan presidency and what conclusions we should draw from that experience....

  • The four leaders of Barack Obama’s second-term “Green Team” are nearly all in place: John Kerry has been confirmed as Secretary of State, Sally Jewell has been confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, Ernest Moniz has been confirmed as Secretary of En...

  • With our HQ in San Francisco, PRI can’t let the summer end without a nod to the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. I’m the last of the generation of Baby Boomers, starting kindergarten in 1967. The girls in my classes wore psychedelic mini-skirt...

  • On Thursday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will hold a public hearing in San Francisco on the future of expanded development of America’s vast energy resources. At stake will be whether continued, or expanded, offshore petroleum product...

  • Everyone loves a villain. And with the Deepwater Horizon disaster at the two-month mark, the love knows no bounds, uniting much of the political-media complex in a sticky goo of opportunism, finger-pointing and phony demands for apologies. That BP...

  • Environmental Index Report: 2009 What would Earth Day be without hand wringing over the supposedly dire state of the planet? Concern over climate change seems to have reached a fever pitch. And the American economy has been fingered as the culprit. P...

  • Around the time I joined PRI’s team last September, we opened new offices in Midtown Sacramento. I had never spent much time in Midtown before joining PRI.  For those who don’t live here, Midtown is a hip part of town with a bustling bar and......

  • Last month, the Army Corps of Engineers, pursuant to political pressure, reversed its prior decision and denied the final permit needed to complete construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pretext: that the pipeline company, after years of pla...

  • Small business owners and entrepreneurs have always been the backbone of California’s economy.  No one can deny the courage of those individuals who risk all for an idea and a dream.  For the vintners, growers, restauranteurs, and small business owne...

  • The Eureka Reporter, June 21, 2008 Dear Editor, The opinion column by Amy Kaleita of the Pacific Research Institute reads as if it was written by and for the benefit of Monsanto Corp. Many consumers are concerned about the effects of GMOs on food sec...

  • The Oregon state legislature passed a bill reducing runaway renewable energy subsidies in an effort to help balance the state budget, but Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) killed the bill with a veto. Now Oregon, which already faced a budget shortfall, may hav...

  • San Francisco, October 7, 2009 – The Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a free-market think tank based in California, found that California’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act (EWRA) is a waste of taxpayer dollars. In Fiscal Year 2007-2008, less than hal...

  • The new report, known as EPCA III, estimates that energy supplies put off-limits by Congress at 117 billion barrels of oil and 651 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This is enough oil to replace our OPEC imports for over 50 years, and enough natura...

  • OpenMarket.org, August 24, 2009 Today’s excerpt from CEI’s film, Policy Peril: Why Global Warming Policies Are More Dangerous Than Global Warming Itself, offers a free-market perspective on Al Gore’s proclamation, at the end of An Inconvenient Truth,...

  • The oil companies do not get huge tax breaks on oil production in California; they do pay taxes at rates comparable to other states, just in different forms. They pay higher property, corporate income, and other taxes than in other states that impose...

  • The myth of green jobs being a “savior” is same as the myth of the Phoenix: it always rises from the ashes. As I wrote here, it just isn’t so. As written here more recently, even the green industry in California is suffering setback...

  • Somali pirates recently seized the Sirius Star, a supertanker headed for North America with 2 million barrels of oil. In the process, the pirates unwittingly strengthened the case for more domestic oil production in this country. Shipping oil across ...

  • Pacific Research Institute Brief Reveals Flaws with San Francisco’s Transportation Task Force Report Today PRI released a brief reviewing San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s Transportation Task Force Report: 2030. The brief is a supplement to PRI’s earlier ...

  • The Eureka Reporter, June 5, 2008 It began as a breeze, but soon took on the power of a gale. We’re referring to the campaign intended to replace plastic bags used by many stores with paper ones. The argument was and is that plastic bags......

  • Policy Alert This publication, sent via email or fax, highlights PRI’s latest releases, media coverage, and impact on public policy in California and across the nation. Learn how PRI is affecting California and the Nation. > Sign Up> Unsubscribe May ...

  • The most recent estimate says that California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest public employee pension fund in the nation with about 1.8 million beneficiaries, has an unfunded liability of roughly $138 billion with total obligations of...

  • Uber and Lyft have generated billions in gross revenue in California. It’s a dazzling data point that has caught the eyes of some politicians who are unable to resist the covetous urges that arise when they watch commercial enterprises thrive. Electe...

  • If you think global warming is about climate, think again. It’s all about politics and, if you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund. An April 16 news release from the EDF was titled “Pre...

  • SACRAMENTO – Advocates for government “solutions” for everything from health care to education argue that some aspects of life are just so darn complicated that only a centralized authority with taxing and spending power can handle ...

  • Congress and various states are considering a fundamental restructuring and regulation of our energy policy. Any such effort should be based on facts, but legislators, unfortunately, incline to myths, such as the notion that most of our energy comes ...

  • This past week, PRI filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court on the closely watched case Cal Fire v. CalPERS and the State of California. In 2012, the legislature passed, and Governor Brown signed into law, the Public Employees’ Pension ...

  • San Francisco—Improvements seen across key environmental indicators should be cause for celebration this Earth Day, according to Steven F. Hayward, Ph.D., author of the new book Almanac of Environmental Trends, released by the Pacific Research Instit...

  • PRI Report Shows California’s Water Problems Are Mostly Due to Uneven Distribution, Not Lack of Supply San Francisco – California should lift bans and restrictions to help alleviate the water distribution problem, according to Go with the Flow: Why w...

  • Earlier this week, PRI joined with the Manhattan Institute to host a well-attended Sacramento panel discussion on California’s drug pricing challenge. Many thanks to my friend and former longtime Capitol reporter Marcey Brightwell, who did an outstan...

  • PRI’s California Energy Survey Assesses Potential Impact of AB 32 San Francisco – California needs a more rational and responsible approach to energy-policy in order to reduce regulatory uncertainty in the marketplace and attract new investment...

  • The wrong model, no matter how hard it is worked, always provides the wrong answer. And, so it is with a bill being considered in Sacramento (SB 17). SB 17 is supposed to address the problem of skyrocketing health care costs by requiring pharmaceutic...

  • If approved by the California electorate this November, Proposition 23 will suspend the implementation of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, until the State’s unemployment rate declines to 5.5% or less for four consecutive quarters. ...

  • Our mailboxes and social media feeds are literally overflowing with campaign advertisements these days.  We review the propositions on our June primary preview on PRI’s podcast. Counting up political mailings that I’ve received over the past week, I’...

  • For political nerds like me, there’s no rush quite like the last night of the legislative session. Every year, legislators and staff literally work around-the-clock to pass final bills before the clock runs out.  To keep going, they drink too much co...

  • Anti-chemical activists continue to advocate to ban Bisphenol A (more commonly known as BPA), despite both BPA’s value and scientific evidence. In its latest manifestation, advocates are using scare tactics to justify the designation of BPA as a dang...

  • House Bill 5383, introduced last week by Rep. Lee Gonzales, D-Flint, would establish a “low-carbon fuel standard,” requiring oil refineries and fuel blenders to reduce greenhouse gases by 10 percent over the next decade. Gonzales announce...

  • Water meters are a sore subject in my neighborhood. The City of Sacramento has been installing water meters for the past few years as part of its effort to comply with a state mandate. This year, it was my neighborhood’s turn to endure the inefficien...

  • Sacramento has been trying for some time now to add a 95-cents-a-month tax on drinking water to pay for “secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrast...

  • Proposition 23, on next Tuesday’s ballot, would suspend the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) until the state unemployment rate, now 12.4 percent, declines to 5.5 percent for four quarters. A new study publ...

  • If approved by the California electorate this November, Proposition 23 will suspend the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) until the California unemployment rate declines to 5.5 percent or less for four cons...

  • Here’s good news that may have escaped attention. The environment worldwide is getting better and better, largely because of economic growth, efficiency and innovation. So says the 2008 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual repor...

  • Here’s good news that may have escaped attention. The environment worldwide is getting better and better, largely because of economic growth, efficiency and innovation. So says the 2008 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual report on w...

  • After spending the holiday season consulting liberal academics, State Senate Democrats on Thursday unveiled their answer to President Donald Trump’s tax cut law. Calling their proposal an effort to “protect California residents” from the federal tax ...

  • Powered by a wave of public outrage that transcended party lines, California citizens have forced regulators at the California Energy Commission to abandon plans to control thermostat settings in private homes. ditioning system would be required by l...

  • “To the victor go the spoils” goes the old proverb. This statement is true in many things in life, but certainly rings true in politics. Consider the ongoing effort to change California’s elections laws to try and help Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, ...

  • DOWNLOAD THE MAGAZINE...

  • Senator McCain, as an across-the-board conservative, I plan to vote for you in November—unless a more authentically conservative ticket emerges or you choose a liberal running mate, such as Mitt Romney. You would be superior to a President Barack Oba...

  • The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued new rules dictating that 18 billion gallons of biofuels must be blended into America’s 2016 transportation fuel supply. This mandate, referred to as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), has been a dis...

  • On June 22 in the California State Capital, PRI gathered experts from the Water Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, the Association of California Water Agencies, the Environmental Defense Fund, and other organizations to discuss th...

  • Let’s talk CFL, or compact flourescent lights. As I pointed out in the 2007 Lights On survey of California energy policy, and in testimony in 2007 to the Georgia Public Service Commission, DSM rose to regulatory prominence during the 1980s,R...

  • Click for the full PDF.      ...

  • GlobalWarming.org, March 20, 2009 OpenMarket.org, March 20, 2009 Over at the Center for American Progress, Brad Johnson, my sometimes interlocutor, takes issue with a recent Gallup poll for giving a “false choice between environmental protection and ...

  • Read Full Study New Study: State Regulations Have Outsized Impact on Energy Industry’s Health SAN FRANCISCO (May 31) — Natural resources don’t respect state boundaries. Consequently, states’ energy regulations are among the pr...

  • It’s “Basic Economics” that residential rent control is harmful housing policy. So it makes perfect sense that we’re beginning to hear about commercial rent control in California. Why not heap more destructive laws on the pile? San Jose Inside report...

  • One of the factors driving California’s housing crisis is the upward pressure rent-controls laws place on home prices. Everyone except those enjoying the dividends of rent-controlled housing would be better off without the laws. Yet a measure that wi...

  • The most unaffordable city in the world in which to rent a home is not New York or Tokyo or Hong Kong. The title belongs to San Francisco, where a single person who wants to live on their own needs to earn more than $85,000......

  • CEI and the Pacific Research Institute recently co-hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on “California’s Meltdown” – the unprecedented combination of flawed economic, energy and environmental policies that have left the state with a massive budget de...

  • The nation’s capital has been slammed with storms this winter, and so has the climate-change debate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) is now attempting to dig out from a scandal that policy makers and ordinary citizens alike will ...

  • Southchild Blog, May 1, 2008 The usual chorus of environmentalists and editorial writers has chimed in to attack President Bush’s recent speech on climate change. In his address of April 23, he put forth a goal of stopping the growth of U.S. greenhou...

  • If you’re thinking about giving a robot to someone this Christmas, on Amazon.com you’ll find 290,991 choices.  I bought my brother a robot for Christmas last year when he announced that he will be retiring from his job as a computer engineer after 35...

  • That sound you heard one day in April was me sighing while seeing countless Facebook pictures of my friends with Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and his wife Beth. To say that I am a Chapman fan is an understatement. I’ve watched virtually ever...

  • Apparently, there’s nothing so sacred nor so ordinary that Sacramento won’t tax it. Possibly next up on the tax table is a first-ever levy on drinking water. During last year’s legislative session, lawmakers proposed through Senate Bill 623 a 95-cent...

  • Last week, within the space of three days, we learned that Gov. Jerry Brown is considering phasing out fossil-fuel powered automobiles in about 10 years, then we found out that Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat, is planning to introduce...

  • Snowpack estimates have experts predicting an average or higher amount of runoff water from the spring snowmelt in California this year. Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, is standing at an average fill level for this time of year, though se...

  • San Francisco-area air quality regulators are proposing to charge a fee to most businesses based on the amount of greenhouse gases they emit. The fee–4.2 cents per metric ton of carbon dioxide–would affect everything from oil refineries t...

  • Investor’s Business Daily, April 21, 2009 The Environment: Wednesday’s airwaves, print media, cable news shows and Webosphere will be filled with nonsense about the scourge of capitalism, corporations and humanity. All of it will ignore t...

  • A new campaign from D.C. Parents for School Choice called SaveThe216 launched today calls that a “slap in the face.” As one scholarship mother asks, “Congressmen and people in the [Obama] Administration get to choose the best school...

  • We’ve been critical, for good reason, of the Legislature’s attempts to solve California’s housing crisis. Lawmakers have done little more than talk about the problem and pass useless, even counterproductive, legislation. But we acknowledge good work ...

  • Bozeman Daily Chronicle (MT), February 19, 2010 Policy scholar Steven Hayward told attendees of a property rights forum in Bozeman Thursday that proposals to drastically cut greenhouse gasses emitted by the United States are “economically insensible ...

  • A corrupt cabal of global warming alarmists are exposed by a massive document leak. Slowly and mostly unnoticed by the major news media, the air has been going out of the global warming balloon. Global temperatures stopped rising a few years ago, muc...

  • The Oklahoman Editorial In the teeter-totter of city and state rankings, what goes up must see-saw something else down. Case in point: Rankings for personal freedom versus rankings for greenhood. Five of the 10 cities on sustainlane.com’s list ...

  • Last week, the senate refused to take true responsibility for climate change legislation by letting the Environmental Protection Agency essentially usurp that authority. In a 53-47 vote, senators struck down Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s resolution of...

  • The Senator boasts that implementing AB 32 will create new jobs and businesses however California’s industries are struggling and unemployment sits in double digits. Pavley cites 125,000 new jobs as a result of AB 32 yet this represents an extremely ...

  • The offshore drilling movement seems silly, but could it spark a smarter movement? “I taught in the second Earth Day,” Newt Gingrich recalled in Real Change, published in January, the most recent of his annual, not-quite-consistent handbo...

  • Vol.4 No.8: August 17, 2010 Should the Federal Government Stick Its Nozzle in Your Shower? By Amy Kaleita, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies, Pacific Research Institute oned, the same result could be obtained by effective pricing of water...

  • Earlier this year, when discussing a laughable proposal to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars in California, my colleague Kerry Jackson asked a critical question – “What happens to the $52 billion in revenue the state is expecting from tax h...

  • California’s initiative process is imperfect.  We cherish the right to circulate citizen’s petitions when the Legislature refuses to act on matters of critical importance. But give any Californian the right to submit a ballot measure, and you’re sure...

  • For now, California’s progressive politicians have judged single-payer as a bridge too far.  But that doesn’t mean they’ve given up trying to take over health care. As my Canadian mother used to say, “slowly, slowly, catchy monkey” – or be pati...

  • When Christopher Monckton, who served as a special adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, ponders the current political push to curb greenhouse gases linked to climate change, he thinks of King Canute. According to Monckton, Canu...

  • Watch the 1980s classic film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” and you’ll see Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh and the gang hanging out at “Ridgemont Mall,” which was actually the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The “go to” mall for...

  • An oft-cited survey from 1994 found that one out of every three respondents age 18 and 34 said they were more likely to see a UFO than receive a Social Security check.  Fast forward 23 years later — last November, the U.S. reached a record......

  • Last week, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called state legislators into a special session to hammer out the details of proposed water legislation. The proposal could include a bond measure of $9.4 billion or more, and would ideally address...

  • Rowena Itchon and Tim Anaya With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time for a holiday tradition that most of us have a love-hate relationship with – holiday shopping. If you’re like us, you never know what to get the people on your shopping l...

  • With the release of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the long-awaited tax bill has been released. The most pro-growth aspects would change the U.S. corporate income tax system. Corporate income taxes have become a large economic disincentive against...

  • As I took the nearly six-hour drive from the Sacramento area, past Ukiah and up to Eureka, through the heart of California’s redwood- forested North Coast, I was reminded of the spectacular beauty of California. Driving through Mendocino and Humboldt...

  • Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson interviews Steven F. Hayward on his new book, The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution, Hayward asserts that Ronald Reagan was one of the most consequential presidents in American history. In for...

  • My friend Steven Hayward’s The Age of Reagan, 1964-1980: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order was published eight years ago. Upon its publication, Charles Kesler saw something epochal about the book itself. Kesler declared: “The end is near....

  • Not so fast says Red County Sacramento. Seems there is little evidence that the chemicals cause any harm; it’s found everywhere, yet there’s been ZERO reported incidence of health problems caused by the chemicals, even in young children. ...

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Co. just announced plans to prematurely shutter California’s sole nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon. The news came hours after energy officials issued the year’s first “flex alert” — a warning t...

  • California plans to provide an environmental education curriculum to its K-12 schools, home to more than six million students, by 2010. Since California often sets the tone for the rest of the nation, it wouldn’t hurt to see just what kind of environ...

  • Perhaps no area of the world better serves as a reminder of the importance of copyright protections as Southern California. Movie studios, music companies and video game developers make Los Angeles a copyright company town. Such industries are built ...

  • In September, the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based environmental think tank, released More with Less: Agricultural Conservation and Efficiency in California, a report that analyzes opportunities for reductions in agricultural water use, particular...

  • Electric vehicles are heavily subsidized by the federal, state, and local governments. Based on a study I just completed, the federal subsidies are worth over $42.7 billion to their recipients over the lifetime of the programs. They include the feder...

  • A few weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revoked a permit for one of the largest mountain-top coal mining projects in the United States. That left West Virginia’s politicians up in arms over what they consider major regulatory overr...

  • What if California did away altogether with cars powered by fossil fuels? Gov. Jerry Brown is said to have considered the question. According to a report in Bloomberg, he asked a state regulator about a plan by China to phase out sales of fossil-fuel...

  • Is he, or isn’t he? That’s the big question when it comes to the $100 billion in tariffs that President Trump has threatened to impose on China. Many supporters of these threatened tariffs would claim that the answer is: he isn’t; or more accurately,...

  • California lawmakers, some of whom long ago demonstrated that they don’t understand why housing is so expensive across the state, continue to show that they have no idea how to fix the problem. Consider, for instance, the plan being moved ahead by As...

  • By Rowena Itchon and Tim Anaya This week, the Assembly and Senate face a key deadline.  All bills originating must pass their “house of origin” by the end of the week (i.e., bills introduced in the Assembly must pass the Assembly).  The Appropriation...

  • Earlier this month the House approved a measure that would give consumers up to $4500 to dump their gas guzzlers and buy a newer and more fuel efficient vehicle. Despite widespread support, this “cash for clunkers” program has its problems, and so do...

  • On Earth Day we will have been engulfed by the avalanche of “Green” propaganda that preceded it, fills the day, and then continues relentlessly thereafter. When I say “propaganda”, I am being polite. Much of the foundation of the environmental moveme...

  • Without a hint of irony, while announcing the 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and the 10 percent tariffs on imported aluminum on May 31st, Commerce Secretary Ross proclaimed that “we take the view that without a strong economy, you cannot have s...

  • Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2009 Global warmist to reporter: Save the mirth! The latest global-warmist email is revealed not by the East Anglia whistle-blower but by Steven Hayward (who by the way has a fine overview of the climate-science scand...

  • Academic publishing was rocked by the news on July 8 that a company called Sage Publications is retracting 60 papers from its Journal of Vibration and Control, about the science of acoustics. The company said a researcher in Taiwan and others had exp...

  • Earlier this month, a bill to implement a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions passed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The Boxer-Kerry bill now moves on to the full Senate for consideration, where it will likely be combined ...

  • The climate-change campaign is in catastrophic free fall. Nearly every day brings a new embarrassment or retraction for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the supposed gold standard for “consensus” science. The with...

  • KEY POINTS An ever-growing number of municipalities are instituting bans on plastic grocery bags in the name of environmental protection; Studies are mixed regarding whether or not such bans offer significant environmental benefits, but claims of ram...

  • During the last ten years, one of the biggest drivers of public opinion and policy has been concern over global warming or climate change. The economics of climate change uses economic theory and computer models to study the interactions among govern...

  • New Yorkers are paying far too much for the essentials of modern life. For evidence, look no further than the gas pump: State taxes add about 50 cents to each gallon of gas and diesel, the second-highest gas tax in the country. And New York’s......

  • ‘Think, Baby, Think’ April 26, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 30 If you think the health care debate is a tangled mess, try wading into the thickets of the energy sector, which is high on the Obama administration’s list of targets to subjugate. Few areas of......

  • This month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency turns 40. That calls for a look back at environmental conditions then and now. The president of the time was Richard Nixon, a Republican later of Watergate fame, and he favored the establishment of ...

  • Lisa Jackson, who announced on Dec. 27 that she was stepping down as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be leaving under a cloud. It turns out that she had been using an email account, under the alias “Richard Windsor,” to ...

  • The Gate Crash of 2009 The city of Washington has been collectively aghast at the spectacle of Michaela and Tareq Salahi, the fun couple from Virginia wine country who seem to have talked their way into the first state dinner of the Obama administrat...

  • The American Thinker (Bellevue, WA), May 23, 2009 Climate Change Fraud, May 23, 2009 Carbon Offset Daily, May 23, 2009 Lux Libertas, May 23, 2009 No American city is among the top 50 cities in the world for air pollution according to the World Bank.....

  • Hunting for a parking spot during the Christmas rush is enough to drive anyone crazy, but for disabled people, it’s especially maddening.  In many California cities, an open disabled parking spot is about as rare as rain. Take San Francisco, where pa...

  • By State Senator Roy Dyson (D-29th) How do we know it’s an election year? We know it’s an election year because once again we are being overwhelmed with dialogue, speeches and promises to bring health care to all Americans. Three of the m...

  • Is a relatively new class of insecticides, known as neonicotinoids or “neonics,” harming bees and other wildlife? That’s what the International Union for the Conservation of Nature claimed in a recent press release announcing the re...

  • Most news coverage focuses on the grandiose – repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), or whether the U.S. should implement a single payer health care system. These existential questions matter of course – a lot. Just as often, trivial issu...

  • Now that the June primary is behind us, pundits and political observers are on overdrive telling us what it all means and what we can expect from the fall campaign. Perhaps we should all pause before writing the June primary’s eulogy as hundreds of t...

  • BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH: Now, we’ve just honored some great people on Earth Day, but here is a story from some newspaper called The Bulletin. It is an American paper, I guess it’s Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Bulletin. “Today is Ear...

  • Secure private property rights in all water, combined with full-cost pricing in free water markets, is the best (and indeed only) way to match California’s vast water supplies to its growing water demands. In practice, this means ending the sub...

  • Listening to the news over the past year, one would think the Vatican was reinventing Catholicism in an effort to go green. First there was the story that the Vatican was sponsoring a forest to offset the carbon emissions of Vatican City. Then we fou...

  • This week, PRI’s scholars are offering their perspectives on different aspects of PRI’s new survey of business executives in high-demand fields who aren’t expanding in the Golden State. Reading the survey results, a lot of the findings were what you ...

  • It should be no surprise that the Trump tariffs are not having their intended effect. Consider the impact on California farmers as documented by Bloomberg.com: More than half of Dan Vincent’s projected 2018 profit was wiped out with a stroke of Presi...

  • At a PRI conference a few years ago, someone in the audience had a great question for our keynote speaker, a renowned economist: Given California’s bad economic policies, why do people still like the state?  With typical flair and charm, not to menti...

  • The amount of time it takes a celebrity of the political left to blame a natural disaster on global warming can usually be measured in seconds. Gov. Jerry Brown quickly answered the challenge last week by coldly politicizing the deadly Northern Calif...

  • From California to Washington D.C. legislators continue to confirm Abraham Kaplan’s famous insight that if you, “give a small boy a hammer, he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.” In the case of our legislators, that hammer is pri...

  • Suspension of AB 32 Would Add 150,000 Jobs in California in 2011 and More than 500,000 in 2012, According to New Study San Francisco— A new study by the Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank based in San Francisco, finds that the appro...

  • His presidency was better than expected, but worse than desired. Some years ago I had occasion to hear Sir Martin Gilbert, then in the midst of producing the official biography of Winston Churchill, discuss how he became interested in writing history...

  • The usual chorus of environmentalists and editorial writers has chimed in to attack President Bush’s recent speech on climate change. In his address of April 23, he put forth a goal of stopping the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the...

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed new rules on carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) for existing power plants will significantly increase electricity prices, especially in states such as Ohio that rely on coal-powered electricity. The hi...

  • While challenges to AB32 gain steam, AB 32 supporters are ironically blowing smoke. Rejecting the typical jobs vs. environment paradigm, they are continuing to assert that –even with trillion dollar costs– the implementation of a centrall...

  • Recently, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited transportation infrastructure funding plan. His plan includes $200 billion in new federal funds and having local and state governments and public-private partnerships pay the bulk of new transportat...